You can sign up for Part D Prescription Drug Plans, which helps cover prescription drug costs, along with other components of Medicare starting three months before your 65th birthday.
It's important to do this on time because there's a permanent premium surcharge for enrolling more than three months after your 65th birthday if you don't have equivalent drug coverage from another source, such as a retiree plan.
If you are already enrolled in a Part D "standalone" plan or a Medicare Advantage plan that incorporates drug coverage, you can switch plans during the open-enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 every year.
In 2021, you are facing higher out-of-pocket drug costs before you can qualify for catastrophic coverage. The out-of-pocket spending threshold will increase by $200, from $6,350 to $6,550 in 2021.
You will also face higher out-of-pocket costs in 2021 for the deductible and in the initial coverage phase before reaching the catastrophic coverage. The standard deductible is increasing from $435 in 2020 to $445 in 2021, while the initial coverage limit is increasing from $4,020 in 2020 to $4,130 in 2021.
For costs in the coverage gap phase, beneficiaries will pay 25% for both brand-name and generic drugs, with plans paying the remaining 75% of generic drug costs. For total drug costs above the catastrophic threshold, Medicare pays 80%, plans pay 15%, and enrollees pay either 5% of total drug costs or $3.70/$9.20 for each generic and brand-name drug, respectively.
It pays to review your Part D coverage every year, especially if you have started taking new drugs. Call us today to discuss your options.
Individuals with annual incomes of less than $and financial resources of , or married couples with incomes of less than $ , might qualify for Extra Help from Medicare to pay their Part D premiums and out-of-pocket drug costs.